My parents go to the States for the winter. They call every weekend and my mom asks me the same questions. “How’s the store going?”
“It’s good. Good. I don’t know. It’s pretty good.”
“ Did you work this weekend?”
“No. It’s my weekend off.”
“Have you heard anything? Are you guys going to shut down soon?”
“Still the same. We’ve got our lease till the end of May and then it’s month to month.”
“And how’s everything else? How’s Natasha?”
“I don’t know mom. I think she’s okay.”
“Do you see her?”
“Yeah. Every day. We work together.”
“And she’s okay?”
“Well. I don’t really know. I think she seems okay. We don’t really discuss that side of things.”
“Yeah. Well, I worry. I mean I worry about you too, but I just want her to be ok.”
“Me too, mom. I know.”
And then she’ll get into some new territory. This week she comes bearing news of ill-fortune. “
“Did you hear Jim McMillan died?”
“What? How?” Jim McMillan is the father of an old friend of mine that I don’t really keep in touch with. His family has a cabin at the same lake that we have a cabin on.
“Heart attack. I guess he died in his bed at a hotel.”
“Oh Jesus. That’s awful.” I offer.
“Well I better go. Do you want to talk to your father?”
“Yeah.” I heard my mom call “Jimmy!” and then the scuffling of handing the phone over.
“Oh hi, Matt. How’re you doing?” Dad also asks about the store. He talks about the weather and then he comes around to the death.
“So, uh, Jim McMillan passed away.”
“Yeah. I heard. That’s what mom said.”
“So, uh, I guess no more speedos at the lake. Well, aside from Don Lore.” He says. I can hear the smile on his face and louder than that, I could hear my mom cracking up in the background.
They’re sick. It makes so much sense to me.